Getting the treatment you need
The majority of medical providers enter their field because they want to help heal and serve other human beings. With this comes a great responsibility to listen to patients and recognize that they are truly the expert in their own bodies and their health. Many problems can arise from medical providers believing that they are all knowing and the only expert in the room when a patient comes to see them. They have a duty to use their knowledge and skills to help guide patients towards increased health, whether it be through treatments or advice. This does not mean however, that they always know what is best. Listening is one of the most important parts of being a healthcare provider. It appears that this was the major error that numerous doctors made when Caitlin sought medical help. She knew that something was not right with her body and yet time after time her symptoms were brushed off as being a part of puberty. Not only does this pathologize a very natural biological process, but it can also play a role in decreasing the self-esteem and confidence that an adolescent patient has in herself. Had the first doctor that Caitlin went to, taken her seriously, she may have been diagnosed long before she turned 17. It is important also, that the rest of the population recognize that medical providers are not all knowing. If you believe that something is wrong with your health, and you seek the counsel of a trained medical provider, and you feel that you are not being listened to, seek a second opinion. Finding a provider who listens and thoroughly investigates your signs and symptoms can be the difference between an early or late diagnosis. Or it can be the start of a great provider-patient relationship that is based in trust, mutual respect, and collaboration.